While cricket has never been one of the most popular sports in Canada, it is becoming more and more popular in the modern era.
Despite losing their Twenty20 and One Day International status last January, the sport continues to grow in popularity across the country and many will already have one eye on Canada’s chances in the 2017 World Cricket League Division Three. Canada have enjoyed reasonable levels of success in that particular competition and finished second in a previous event.
Some incredible players have featured for Canada over the years and there are a number of top talents coming through in the youth squad. The under-19 side, led by an astounding knock of 121 by Harsh Thaker, qualified for the 2016 ICC U19 Cricket World Cup and could well surprise a few in the tournament. Closer to the time, 32Red are just one of the bookmakers that will be able to keep you updated on the latest odds and news surrounding the competition, while you can also look at the likes of Coral for further information. In the meantime, take a look at our list of the top Canadian cricketers of all-time. You never know, Thaker, who will be looking to maintain his form with the bat and could even focus on improving his spinning action before next year’s tournament, could rank on that list in the future.
Arguably the greatest player to ever play for Canada, Ashish Bagai was a sensational batsman and holds the record for most runs and best average for both the One Day International format and the T20 side of the game. In the ODI format, Bagai has racked up 1,964 runs – almost 1,000 runs more than anybody else. He has an average of 37.76, which is an exceptional tally for such a low-ranked side. In the T20 version, he has an average of 40.57 and scored 284 runs in total – yet another impressive feat.
Born in Pakistan but opting to play and captain Canada, Rizwan Cheema may not have made his international debut until his was 30-years-old, but he quickly made his mark on the game. After scoring a 61-ball 89 against the West Indies in his second One Day International, Cheema was flagged as a standout player for Canada. Indeed, in the same match he took three for 31 in just ten overs and it was this sort of form that pushed Cheema to the position of captain in 2009 while Bagai was rested. This position was made permanent in 2012 and during his maiden outing he managed to lead Canada to fourth in the World T20 Qualifiers in the UEA.
Born in Canada but bred in Australia, Davison gained national and international acclaim for his cricket skills thanks to his hard-hitting, no-nonsense approach to the game. Thanks to a stint playing club cricket in Australia, Davison was able to develop an aggressive style of batting and in 2003 he upset the bookmakers by scoring the fastest ever century (in 67 balls) in World Cup history many of the likes of 32red might not predict today. This level of scoring was followed up with a half-century against New Zealand (at a strike rate of 200) and total of 779 ODI runs and 1,177 FC runs.
George Anthony Barber
He may not have been a player on the same level as our other three Canadian cricket legends, but George Anthony Barber is a name that can’t be excluded from the list. Hailed by many as the “father of Canadian cricket”, Barber was instrumental in bringing the game of cricket over from his native England to Canada. Through his role as a teacher and school superintendent, Barber was able to spot a gap in the market for cricket and set about establishing the Toronto Cricket Club in 1827.
From this base the adopted Canadian essentially started the game of cricket within the country and, until 2006, the club’s ground was the only Canadian venue approved for One Day International matches. Although Barber wasn’t much of a player himself, it’s because of him that today’s greats are able to represent Canada.